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Authored by: Trevor Bryce , Heather D. Baker , Daniel T. Potts , Jonathan N. Tubb , Jennifer M. Webb , Paul Zimansky

The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia

Print publication date:  July  2009
Online publication date:  September  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415394857
eBook ISBN: 9780203875506
Adobe ISBN:


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Saar 2.5 ha settlement in the northwest of the main island of Bahrain, within the land of Dilmun attested in Bronze and Iron Age Mesopotamian texts. After preliminary excavations were undertaken by a joint Bahraini–Jordanian team in the 1980s, work was resumed on the site in 1990 by the London-Bahrain Archaeological Expedition under the direction of H. Crawford, R. Killick, and J. Moon. Their work brought to light what they see as a largely self-sufficient community, dependent on the sea and date-gardens for its subsistence. Large numbers of seal impressions (more than eighty) discovered in the houses of Saar, and originally used as stamps on bales and jars, appear to indicate a flourishing local economy, with much of the commerce conducted within Dilmun itself. At its highest point, Saar was dominated by a temple separated from the rest of the settlement by alleys and small streets. Town planning is evident from the layout of the streets which divide the settlement into blocks of up to five houses, built on a largely standardized plan. The settlement’s regularity has suggested to the excavators that it may have been a workmen’s village or a military barracks.


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